Your Emerging Theory/Philosophy
of Teaching and Learning

Print a copy of the rating scale (copy and paste it into a Word file), then rate the extent of your agreement with each of the following statements. Write a 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, or 7 depending on your opinion. Refer to the explanation below for determining values of the ratings. Please rate EVERY statement.

7 = strongly agree, 6 = agree for the most part, 5 = agree a little, 3 = disagree a little, 2 = disagree for the most part, 1 = strongly disagree  (Note that you cannot give a rating of 4)

____ 1. Students need praise, good grades, or other rewards in order to learn effectively.

____ 2. The best learning occurs when students discover answers for questions and problems themselves rather than having the answers told to them.

____ 3. Learning has occurred when there is a measurable change in student behavior.

____ 4. School learning should involve the total development of the person, not only cognitively, but also socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. 

____ 5. True learning requires the active creation of knowledge structures (schemes or concept systems). 

____ 6. Fostering social and emotional development in students is just as important as the development of academic skills.

____ 7. Learning occurs best when the overall task is broken down into a sequence of short, easily- accomplished steps. 

____ 8. It is important to help students organize their thinking by teaching them general concepts (or schemes) before they learn more specific information.

____ 9. Students can be trusted to find their own goals and should be given choices as to what and how they will learn.

____10. Helping students feel good about themselves is just as important as the academic skills they are taught.

____11. Students learn best when they have the opportunity to observe a demonstration or example of what is being taught.

____12. Meaningful learning occurs when students mentally create knowledge structures (schemes or concepts) by combining new ideas with their prior knowledge (existing schemes or concepts).

____13. Significant learning only takes place when the subject matter is perceived by the student as having relevance to his/her life and when personal meaning can be attributed to it.

____14. The teacher should be a facilitator of learning rather than a presenter of knowledge.

____15. Learning objectives or outcomes should be identified and stated before the teaching process begins.

____16. Students learn best when they are actively involved in solving problems or completing tasks that lead to the creation of knowledge structures (concepts or schemes).

____17. For the most effective learning, studentsí errors should be minimized and successes maximized.

____18. Learning requires the mental processing of information, in other words the acquisition, organization, and storage of knowledge.

____19. Practicing the skills being taught is essential for effective learning.

____20. Students can learn through teacher presentation as long as the content is organized so as to help students mentally process, organize, and store the new information.

Click here to score your ratings


Permission is granted to anyone wishing to use this page for educational purposes as long as you credit me and the url.

My name is
Edmund J. Sass, Ed.D.
You can reach me at